Gut Reaction: Week 12 - Broncos vs Dolphins

Sticks and stones may break their bones, but names will give them motivation.

For the two weeks—actually, let’s be honest, it’s been the entire year—the Broncos offensive line has heard the criticisms. They have no cohesion. They aren’t physical enough. They’re out of position.

From left to right tackle—all of them girlie men.

For a week, at least, they came to pump Broncos fans up, piling up 201 yards on the ground.

While it’s too soon to dismiss the idea that these newfound muscles will deflate, it’s comforting to know the Broncos didn’t forget to how to run the ball.

Let’s hope they’ve got some muscle memory next week against the Chiefs.

The Positives

  1. Listen, we all know passing wins games in the NFL, but even I was excited to see the Broncos show some balance and patience with their running game today. Petyon Manning still had four touchdowns, all while making the run a legitimate threat. Think of it this way. You go to a steakhouse for prime rib, but everything else needs to be up to par. For the record, it also helps if the hostess is hot.
  2. Until further notice, C.J. Anderson should remain the Broncos’ starter at running back—not just because he breaks tackles, but because he is a dual threat out of the backfield.
  3. How much sexier is the Broncos offense when Virgil Green is in the game? So sexy that their running game goes from limp to an erection lasting more than four hours in the matter of moments.
  4. Speaking of the running game, I thought Louis Vasquez and Ryan Clady were as good as they’ve been all year.
  5. Sitting down? Jack Del Rio can blitz. Del Rio blitzing is pretty rare, like Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Vail, and Jackson Hole going Republican in election cycles.
  6. Nice drive to end the half. Why was it so easy? The Dolphins started playing a soft zone.
  7. If his touchdowns are not enough, did you see Demaryius Thomas dislocate a defensive back’s shoulder through nothing more than a push off? Herculean, my friends.
  8. I can’t decide who is more valuable to the Broncos - Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders. Right now, if you held a gun to my head (and why would you, you criminal?), I’d have to choose Sanders.
  9. Aside from the interception, T.J. Ward had one of his better games in coverage. Also, he tattooed Brian Hartline, which I thought was funny.
  10. Just when I’m about to write off Wes Welker, he goes and gets a cluster of receptions.
  11. Let’s not forget about Omar Bolden’s return game, which proves that even Peyton Manning likes field position.

The Negatives

  1. It’s time for John Elway to just admit that the Brandon McManus experiment isn’t working.
  2. By the way, did you notice Manny Ramirez and Demaryius Thomas’s reactions to the McManus miss? They went apeshit. That’s not the definition of team chemistry.
  3. It’s hunting season, so the Broncos got gutted up the middle early in the game—of course, it’s didn’t help that every time the Broncos had their pass rushing tackles, Malik Jackson and Sly Williams, on the field, the Dolphins rushed the football.
  4. Someone gave John Fox some bad intel on his only challenge of the game. But who cares, right? Fox never uses his timeouts appropriately anyway, so it’s cool to just give one away.
  5. Isaiah Burse may be a great kick returner, but I don’t want to wait around any longer to find out.
  6. Luck is always a factor in football. The Dolphins put the ball on the ground three times in one drive. They lost exactly zero of those footballs.
  7. Ryan Tannehill—he’s better than I'd thought, especially off of play action. Additionally, his anticipation out of breaks rivals any of the young quarterbacks playing in the league.
  8. The Broncos simply missed a pile of tackles, which was fixable. I even saw Chris Harris miss a ball and tackle, which is pretty much unheard of.
  9. I hope Lamin Barrow’s balls are okay, because he got juked so many times out on the field, he lost his jockstrap by the second quarter.
  10. Outside of the Oakland Raiders, Malik Jackson commits some of the dumbest penalties I’ve ever seen. For what it’s worth, the Broncos almost hit double digits in penalties yet again.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. You can be sure of one thing. The Broncos didn’t practice defending against a defensive end at wide receiver.
  2. Let’s say you’re a Patriots apologist. And let’s say you’re an asshole. Wait—I repeat myself.
  3. Phil Simms says he thought Emmanuel Sanders was the best free agent wide receiver available last year. I call bullshit. Don’t you just love hindsight bias? Here’s something you didn’t know. I thought Tom Brady was the best quarterback available in the 2000 NFL Draft.
  4. Were those some boos I heard near the end of the first quarter after the Broncos went three and out?
  5. The Raiders are good for one thing and one thing alone—beating the Chiefs and the Chargers so the Broncos can take over first place. Actually, there are two things they are good at, but there’s no need to bring up crime stats this close to Thanksgiving.
  6. Speaking of the Raiders, earlier in the week I watched the “A Football Life” special on Lyle Alzado. Came away with a better appreciation of why he felt he had to use steroids. The guy could never escape the inadequacies of his humble beginnings as an abused child. Even so, let’s remember, steroids weren’t illegal when he was using them. They weren’t a Vitamin B shot either, but they weren’t the testicle-shriveling substance we know them to be today.
  7. What the hell is going on with the world? The Cleveland Browns are 7-4. Someone better give thanks on Thursday with their turkey dinner.
  8. Watching T.Y. Hilton cry in an interview after the Colts' win earlier in the day—not because of football, but because of the birth of his daughter—was pretty damn inspiring.
  9. Knee to the groin—the official reason Von Miller had to miss a few plays early in the game. Personally, I prefer the more colloquial phrase, shot to the balls, which is not the same as a shot to the heart, but still pretty damn painful nonetheless.
  10. Yes, marijuana is now legal here in Colorado, which means you’ll be seeing more things like this: some grandmas smoking weed for the first time.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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